Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Hunter Survives 3 Weeks without Food

Hunter Survives 3 Weeks without Food

As I regularly explain to clients during our wilderness survival courses, a lack of food in a survival situation is not necessarily a big deal.  In fact, in such situations, food is a detriment as it is a stressor on the body.  This is one reason why you’ll often hear survival instructors talk about the Rule of 3s — That is, one can go 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh conditions, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. The following news account, then, helps to underscore my point: Police in Manitoba ended their investigation today surrounding the events that caused a man to become lost and stranded in the wilderness for three weeks while hunting.  Other than an apple, which he ate on Day One, he had no other food and lost 40 pounds. So, this story helps to illustrate why, of the Seven Survival […]

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Update – Lexi DeForest

Update - Lexi DeForest

Do you remember Lexi DeForest?  In case you don’t, she is the Colorado State University student who in late August made a video of herself while she laid waiting (painfully) for a Search and Rescue team in a remote section of Wyoming after severely breaking her ankle.  For more information about what happened, please read our original post. Anyway, about a month after her accident, Lexi posted another video.  In it, she provides more information about what caused her to fall and the effort involved afterwards to rescue her.  Like the first one, this video offers us all many great lessons — Chief of which is the power of positive mental attitude.  Happily, Lexi appears to be doing amazingly well. Check it out for yourself:

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The Power of PMA

The Power of PMA

In all of his wilderness survival courses, True North instructor, Erik, repeatedly stresses the paramount importance of PMA … Positive Mental Attitude.  As he explains to his students, in a survival situation, it really doesn’t matter how much technical experience and training you have, or even what cool equipment you have in your backpack, that will help determine if you live or die.  Rather, it is what is in your head and heart that most counts.  A video-diary that Lexi Deforest, a Colorado college student, recently recorded when she became trapped in the mountains after her foot became detached from her leg in a climbing accident is an excellent example of the power of PMA. Thanks to Jake Griebe of SOWMAS, a Wisconsin based wilderness medicine and survival school, Erik just watched Lexi’s video which has since gone viral.  We’ve provided a video link below for you to watch.  But […]

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Janée’s Latest Race Report

Janée’s Latest Race Report

Janée filed this report as she prepared last minute details for her adventure race this weekend.  *          *          * A lot of time and energy has gone into preparing for those 24 long and grueling hours!  The race begins at 8:00 AM this morning and will end at 8:00 AM tomorrow. Because I have some final race preparations to complete before the race begins, I have reduced the last several weeks since my first post into a series of bullet points: I spent one weekend in Ohiopyle biking and running the same trails that I will be hitting this weekend. Lessons learned: #1: Wear high socks on race day to protect from the stinging nettle JUNGLES that I will be facing. #2: Blackberry thickets are everywhere in Ohiopyle, and can either be an excellent PMA-booster or the bane of my existence. #3: […]

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“Reality Television” is not Reality

"Reality Television" is not Reality

Learning to survive, even thrive, in harsh environmental conditions is definitely not easy.  As one might expect, I spend a lot of time and effort learning about the art and science of wilderness survival, but sometimes it never seems enough.  No matter how much I learn, sometimes even master, the more I only discover how much I don’t really know!  It is truly a Sisyphean task .  But, heck, just like the Tortoise, I try to focus on keeping my pace slow, but steady, so that one day … maybe, just maybe … I may actually feel like I have crossed the finish line. Lately, then, I have been giving a lot of thought to water.  After all, there are few things more elemental to life than water. So, here is a piece of environmental trivia for you to consider … What is the biggest desert in the world? That’s easy, […]

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Outdoor Photography

Outdoor Photography

So as to better inform others of the activities and adventures that are taking place at True North, we make the effort to regularly alternate our various photographs.  Like the ones that currently grace the header and footer of our Facebook page.  Thanks to local professional photographer, Abie Livesay, we are extremely lucky to have more than a few beautiful ones from which to chose. During the weekend of May 26-27, 2012, True North hosted a “Fun” Survival Overnight for a group of individuals who have some of the highest PMA levels that Erik and Larry have ever seen.  True North planned the event in order to help make up for a survival training course for which this group had registered the previous November, but which … How shall we say? … had gone slightly awry thanks to an unplanned abundance of hunters roaming the Laurel Highlands searching for bears. […]

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Wild Edibles: An Introduction

Wild Edibles: An Introduction

In his wilderness survival courses at True North, Erik doesn’t teach about plants as a primary food source.  Instead, he typically discusses a long list of what he calls the “myth of wild edibles.”  This is a slight overstatement, Erik soon admits to students, but he makes it to emphasize two important points.  Primarily, he wants them to begin re-thinking, and re-shaping, the world around them so that they are better prepared for an emergency situation, and not rely on preconceived notions from silly television shows or third-hand sources.  Just as importantly, wild edibles are not Erik’s speciality, and he refuses to pretend that he is an expert where he is not.  After all, our overarching focus at True North is all about giving students the information and training that will help keep them, and their loved ones, safe in the wilderness. So, it is our pleasure to introduce Jake […]

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Lost Hiker Saves Self by Staying Put

Lost Hiker Saves Self by Staying Put

Durning the recent Independence Day holiday, hiker James Bane did what many of us around the country did that weekend … He decided to spend the day hiking.  But when he finally realized that he was hopelessly lost on Mount Hood in Oregon, he did what few others actually do in the same predicament … He decided to stay put. This not only saved Oregon thousands of dollars in taxpayer money that would otherwise have been spent searching for, and retrieving, James, but it likely kept him from getting injured, even saving his life.  And, just as importantly, his decision likely kept many of the dozens of searchers out looking for him from getting injured, even saving their lives too. As reported in The Oregonian, Bane, 62, an experienced hiker, found himself suddenly lost in the late afternoon.  When darkness approached, he dialed 9-1-1 to tell the Clackamas County Sheriff’s […]

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Exploring the Bear Claw

Exploring the Bear Claw

Despite all the rain and mud, I enjoyed a fun two days exploring the Laurel Run section of Quebec Run Wild Area (QRWA).  It is hard to describe, though, what was the best part.  Could it be because of the two terrific people who accompanied me?  Or was it because we hiked through woodlands that are little visited by others?  Tough call.  It must be both! True North recently received final approval of its permit application that I filed about six months ago with the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry to teach outdoor skills courses, like wilderness survival and land navigation, at QRWA.  The Rangers in the Laughlintown District Office worked with me to assign a section that they thought would best serve our student’s needs while minimizing impact to the land, plus other public use.  Ultimately, we decided that the Laurel Run section would be the best setting.  The only […]

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Upcoming “Wilderness First Aid” Course at Exkursion

Upcoming "Wilderness First Aid" Course at Exkursion

For anyone who is interested in becoming certified in Wilderness First Aid (WFA), or who wishes to renew their certification, Exkursion has added a course to their Summer schedule. It will be held on two consecutive Sundays, August 5 and 12, from 3:00 to 9:00 both days.  The cost will be $185. This is a great opportunity for several reasons.  First off, wilderness first aid training provides a potentially life saving skill for anyone who spends time in the woods or any remote setting.  It is also a terrific confidence builder.  After completing the training, you will be better equipped to assess trauma and medical problems, and you will have a better understanding of how to treat such common wilderness maladies as shock, hypothermia, bleeding, fractures, dislocations, bites … the list goes on. In turn, this particular course is great because the program is being taught by SOLO, the oldest, […]

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